North American companies responsible for half Angola’s oil exports

7 August 2009

Lisbon, Portugal, 7 Aug – Two North American oil companies explore Angolan oil wells which represent half of Angolan crude oil exports, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The EIA, the US energy statistics body, indicates that Block 15, which represents close to 30 percent of Angolan production, is operated by North American group, ExxonMobil via its subsidiary Esso, with a 40 percent share in the consortium.

As well as ExxonMobil, Chevron operates Block 0 from where approximately 20 percent of Angolan production is derived, with partners Sonangol, TotalFinaElf and ENI-Agip.

Chevron also operates Block 14, the first deep water block to come into operation (105,000 barrels in 2006)

Also operating in Angola is North American company Marathon, which recently came to an agreement with two Chinese oil companies – Sinopec and CNOOC – to sell for US$1.2 billion its 20 percent stake in Block 32, considered “highly promising” by prospection work already carried out.

Angola itself is considered the USA’s sixth largest oil supplier, with Marathon’s sale being indicative of the overlap of North American and Chinese interests.

China already has in Angola its main African oil supplier – 599 million barrels in 2008 worth US$59.9 billion, according to EIA figures.

“Exports to Asian countries have risen sharply in recent years, particularly to China (…) Sonangol and Sinopec will be keeping an eye on future concessions, particularly in the 23 blocks in the Kwanza basin and the abandoned areas in blocks 15, 17 and 11,” said the North American Energy Information Administration.

Together, the United States and China annually receive 90 percent of Angolan oil exports, which in turn contribute over 80 percent of the GDP and 83 percent of the country’s revenue (2008).